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April 2017 | Volume 74 | Number 7
Differences, Not Disabilities
When we view struggling readers primarily through the lens of their disabilities, we set them on a path to segregation and ineffective instruction.
Teachers working with Lucas, a 2nd grader struggling with reading and writing, were beginning to speak of him as having an attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, immaturity—and of course, being a struggling student. Lucas's parents were multilingual immigrants from two different countries, so he was also seen as an English language learner, biracial, and low-income.
That's quite a set of labels for a 7-year-old. Yet Lucas's general education teacher, special education teacher, reading intervention teacher, and even the lunchroom supervisor used all these terms when describing Lucas (a pseudonym) to me in my role as a literacy consultant.
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